AFCON Profile: Guinea

Guinea made their competitive debut on the international stage at the West African Games in Nigeria on 2 October 1960

Guinea made their competitive debut on the international stage at the West African Games in Nigeria on 2 October 1960. Although they lost that particular encounter 4-0 to the hosts, it was the start of steady progress.

Syli Nationale's international sojourn continued with a friendly on home soil against world beaters East Germany on 16 December 1962. They lost 3-2 but had given a good account of themselves.

There were a lot of positives to be drawn from a result that augured well for the future of the game in Guinea. The team's competitive spirit was there for all to see.

PREVIOUS AFCON INVOLVEMENTS:

Guinea's first Africa Cup of Nations involvement was in 1963, a two-legged qualifier against Nigeria. They drew the first 2-2 away before beating the Super Eagles 1-0 in the return leg to seal qualification on aggregate.

However, they were disqualified from the competition for using ineligible players, with Nigeria taking their place at the finals instead.

In 1965, after hauling themselves back into the reckoning with a 3-0 victory over Senegal, the Syli Nationale narrowly missed out on qualification.

Guinea were losing finalists in 1976, their best finish in the tournament to date. They also reached the quarter-finals in three successive tournaments (2004, 2006, 2008).

SQUAD OVERVIEW:

Guinea prepared for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Conakry, where they trained at the September 28 Stadium.

The Syli Nationale will be shorn of the services of Italy-based midfielder Kevin Constant, who decided to pull out of the squad. The French-born Genoa star told the Guinea football federation he was no longer interested in playing for the national team.

However, 21-year-old forward Abdoul Camara of French Ligue 1 side Sochaux, who also holds French nationality and has played at junior level for that country, accepted a call-up to the squad and will represent Guinea for the first time.

Coach Michel Dussuyer can also count on experienced campaigners like skipper Kamille Zayate, former Celtic defender Bobo Balde, schemer Pascal Feindouno and forward Ismael Bangoura.

ONE TO WATCH:

Ismaël Bangoura, 27, has scored 12 goals for Guinea since making his debut in the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations. The striker has distinguished himself as an accomplished campaigner for clubs such as Dynamo Kyiv, Rennes and current employers Al Nasr SC in the UAE Pro-League.

Bangoura was instrumental in Dynamo Kyiv's progress to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 2008/09. He is a proven goal-scorer who has tested himself against some of Europe's best defenders.

FACTS

FIFA Rank: 80

Coach: Michel Dussuyer

Captain: Kamille Zayatte

Nickname: Syli Nationale

Previous AFCON finish: 2008 - Quarter-finals/ 2010 - Did not qualify

FULL SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Naby Yattara, Abdul Aziz Keita, Aboubacar Camara

Defenders: Dianbobo Balde, Habib-Jean Balde, Ibrahima Bangoura, Ibrahima Diallo, Morlaye Cisse, Omar Kalabane, Kamille Zayatte, Lanfia Camara

Midfielders: Mamadou Bah, Pascal Feindouno, Ibrahima Traore, Ibrahima Conte, Naby Soumah, Thierno Bah. Ibrahima Yattara

Strikers: Ismaël Bangoura, Sadio Diallo, Alhassane Bangoura, Ousmane Barry, Abdoul Camara